12 July 2014 22:53
Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella remains in the dark surrounding the fitness of Angel di Maria for Sunday’s FIFA World Cup final.
The Real Madrid winger limped out of the quarter-final win over Belgium with a thigh injury, and missed Wednesday’s last-four clash with Netherlands.
With Argentina bidding to become world champions for a third time against Germany at the Maracana, Sabella will be desperate to have Di Maria available.
Di Maria’s devastating pace has proved a valuable asset to both club and country and the 26-year-old produced a sublime finish to seal a 1-0 win over Switzerland deep into extra time in the second round.
Sabella, who refused to be drawn on his agent’s comments on Friday that he will step down as coach after the final, stated that the situation concerning Di Maria would become clearer after training on Saturday.
“We will see how Di Maria is,” said Sabella.
“We will see how he has evolved. After practice we will evaluate him.
“Then I will have a better picture.”
Argentina last tasted World Cup success in 1986, when a Diego Maradona-inspired side beat West Germany 3-2, and a repeat – on enemy territory in Brazil – would be most welcome.
“To be champions is very important for the country and for the players, who have struggled for a long time to get here,” he said.
“It is a game for which we don’t need motivation. To reach the final, and in Brazil, is a fact that we are even more proud of.
“Let’s give everything for Argentina to be champions again.”